Following the success of our volunteer building trips in 2015 and 2016 where we built homes for 45 children, we are delighted to offer you another chance to be part of a team that can lay the foundations to a brighter future for kids in Kenya.
October 2017: 2 houses for 10 children in 8 days
The trip will run from 7th to 19th October and will see us build 2 new homes for these 2 families Karatina.
The family pictured below have been through some very tough times. The 6 of them live in a broken wooden shed in Nyeri. James (right) scored very impressive primary school marks of 352/500 but couldn’t start secondary school in Jan 2016 due to lack of £140. His dream of becoming a neuro surgeon was in jeopardy. He decided he wanted to try and commit suicide so that he wouldn’t see so much more struggles but he was convinced not to by our GEF staff and a local counsellor. Thanks to kind sponsorship from Alan Esson, James is now in secondary school and tells us the sky is the limit for him and his family. He is determined to change his family’s life for the better. His brother Stephen (left) fell of the back of a moving pick-up truck in 2013 and spent 1 month in a coma. Hospital fees were impossibly high to pay but neighbours joined together to pay some and the rest was paid by the local area administration. He has now fully recovered and wishes to go back to school. Twin girls Faith and Ann are currently in nursery thanks to support from Ian Jaffrey and David Muchangi. They never stop smiling despite living in some of the worst conditions we have seen. Paul is also back in school thanks to sponsorship from Claire Barrie and Chris Hanton as part of our #12days12futures campaign in December 2016. There is an amazing unity between the children and their mum.
In the family pictured second below, Humphrey (right) scored very high primary school marks but had been sent home from Form 2 of secondary school due to a lack of fees and he was set to be unable to complete his education. They live just outside Karatina and share a single room house which only has space for 1 bed and a small table. Mum Lucy shares the single bed each night with little Fidelis and her sisters Phoeby and Ivy whilst Humphrey and his 14 year old brother Gibson have to stay at a friend’s house due to the lack of space.
The family had lived with their grandparents until sadly they both passed away. Much to our anger, their uncles chased the family away, refusing to let them stay in the family home or support them in any way. This left them homeless until a kind landlord decided to give them a small house temporarily.
Earning £1.50 at most each day working long hours on a farm, it is pretty much impossible for Lucy to pay school fees – especially Humphrey and Gibson’s £500 a year secondary fees – or to ensure that they are all eating regular meals. We are delighted that all 5 children are now in full time education and eating regular meals thanks to support from sponsors who the children write to regularly. Humphrey recently completed secondary school and scored an impressive B- which will see him start university this year. We are soon going to be able to help Lucy start her own business. The family are one of the most humble and polite family’s we have met. Following a shopping trip which we took them on in April 2015, Lucy wrote a lovely thank you letter to Gideon Gathimba thanking us for our support.
With your help, we can buy 1 acre of land and build new houses for these families!
You can donate towards the land and building material costs via the fundraising page of our volunteer Project Manager Darren Cocker who will be making his third trip to Kenya to oversee the building works: http://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/buildingafutureforkenya
The cost of the trip (excluding international flights) will be £800 per person. This includes all accommodation, meals, transport, airport transfers and water. Following the building work in Karatina we will visit The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, spend a day relaxing by the hotel pool and visit Nairobi National Park. We ask that everyone arrives by latest 10pm on Saturday 7th October. We will be travelling by bus to Karatina on the morning of Sunday 8th. If you wish to arrive on the evening of Friday 6th October then we can arrange airport pick up and hotel accommodation for an additional charge. Please book return flight for after 10pm on Thursday 19th October unless you wish to attend an optional 3 days safari to the famous Masai Mara following the end of the GEF trip. This safari will take place from 20th – 22nd Oct and will cost £500 – this includes accommodation, transport and meals and return flight should be booked for after 10pm on Sunday 22nd October if you are coming to Masai Mara. Our trips are always offered at cost price so we kindly ask that everyone joining our adventure can set up Total Giving pages to help us fund raise for the approximate £25,000 building material and land costs. It would be fantastic if everyone could attempt to raise a minimum of £500 to help us cover these. Pages can be set up here – http://www.totalgiving.co.uk/charity/gathimba-edwards-foundation – please name your page with your FULL NAME followed by – GEF VOLUNTEER TRIP 2017 so that it is easy for us to keep track of donations.
Please let us know via the below email address if you wish to attend as due to hotel capacity and volunteer interest levels we may have to set a maximum number of people who can take part. Those of you who are definitely coming should apply for your visa here and make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations in good time before you travel. If October does not suit you, we also have a trip to Kenya each Spring.
If anyone knows of companies or individuals that may be in a position to sponsor team t-shirts, lunches each day, tools, timber, windows, doors or any other individual aspect of the work please let us know. It would also be helpful if anyone keen to come on the trip can let us know of any DIY experience they have. To register your place or find out more information, please email email@example.com
The 2016 trip: 5 houses in 9 days
In October 2016 our 25 volunteers achieved something very special. In the space of just 9 days they managed to build 5 houses for families in Iten. Their amazing efforts have taken 25 children from sleeping on the floor of mud houses to lovely new beds in shiny new timber homes.
Here’s what some of our volunteers had to say about the experience:
“Seeing the excitement of the children as they prepared to move into their new homes was incredible. They appreciate the small things in life. It was inspiring to see what a weight it was off their mum’s shoulders to have a safe place for her and her children to sleep. Jess Thom
“Its a pleasure to be a part of GEF and help children in my hometown to have safe homes and bright futures.” New York and London Marathon champion, Mary Keitany who officially opened one of the new houses.
“It is amazing how quickly great things can happen. Arriving at site each morning and seeing the progress of the previous day is fantastic. I just love it.” Jo Robertson
“The hard work is worth it. You get a lot more out of it then you put in.” Tracey Monro
“It is great to see what we achieved in such a short space of time. The impact it brings to locals is fantastic and clear to see.” Steven Smith
We are incredibly proud of our 51 volunteers who in October 2015 helped us build a new 16 bed dormitory for the children at the Pavilion Village children’s home and a 3 bedroom house for Judy Gathigia and her family in Iruri. This wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts and in particular the support from Stewart Milne Group who flew 19 of their expert staff out to help our efforts. They tell us what they thought of the trip in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfcZ5lX1IXc&feature=youtu.be
“The whole experience was inspirational and what made it even more humbling was that the people we were building for were with us on site every day.” Garry Willis.
“This was the most unreal and amazing 2 weeks of my life. The reality of life for so many people in Kenya is unbelievable. We were able to do so many inspiring and life changing things in a short space of time. So many special memories and some new life-long friends too.” Nicola Henderson
“Unlike most charity donations/events I have done before, this trip gave me the opportunity to see first-hand the difference that our money, clothes, toys and hard work would make to severely underprivileged children.” James Ferguson
“This trip is a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The hardship that I have now seen, that some of the less fortunate people in the world go through has really made me appreciate what I have in life.” Frank O’Reilly